How WW brought this mother-daughter duo even closer
*People following the WW program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds/week. Taylor, WW ambassador, and Sofie lost weight on a prior program and are continuing on myWW™.
By Katerina Savvides
California mother Sofie, 56, a regional sales manager for a seafood company, and her daughter Taylor, 33, a school construction project manager, have the kind of bond that you typically only see between fictional characters like Lorelai and Rory from Gilmore Girls. The single mother and her only child do practically everything together, so it should come as no surprise that when Taylor decided to join WW in January 2018, she wanted her mom to follow suit.
The day she joined the program, Taylor started an Instagram page (@taylormadetasty) to document her progress and find inspiration from other WW members. A year and change later, she's picked up 14,000 virtual friends, has been named a WW Ambassador, and—best of all—finally got her mom to join the program.
WW connected with the mother-daughter duo to learn more about what it's like to pursue your weight loss goal with a partner.
WW: When did you realize that you wanted to do something about your health?
Taylor: In 2017, I set out to take 52 five- to 30-mile hikes with my mom and my boyfriend in one year. Although I assumed weight loss would be a byproduct of increasing my activity levels, I ended up gaining 30 pounds due to poor eating habits: At the time, I'd been working as an event planner and often found myself at catered events where I’d pick at foods like buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks. On my own time, I’d grab food like pizza and hot dogs and drink sugary coffee drinks on the go. I knew I was gaining weight and felt self-conscious about being larger than everyone around me. That holiday season, I made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and joined WW in January 2018.
At first, my main motivator was to look better in photos. The first six months were so easy for me; I tracked my food, got my blue-dot days, and felt like my new healthy habits were becoming second nature. Then my boyfriend’s mother, who was in her early 60s, passed away. Shortly after, his grandfather was diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer. The incidents transformed my “why”—my motivation to follow the WW program—completely. I wanted to establish better habits to live a long, healthy life. I wanted my mom to join me for the same reason, but didn’t push her. In my opinion, the best way to change someone else is to change yourself first.
Sofie: If Taylor didn’t join WW first I’d probably still be moaning and groaning about the way I looked! I also thought our hiking challenge would help melt away the pounds and was surprised when 30 pounds crept on instead. In hindsight, my habits were also to blame: Instead of taking the time to prepare proper meals for one—I’m single and live alone—I’d pick up a big bowl of fat-free frozen yogurt, a veiled excuse to eat a bunch of candy toppings.
About a year after Taylor joined WW, I found myself feeling older than ever with various aches and pains. Overall, I didn’t feel great about myself and lacked the confidence to put myself out in the dating world.
I knew I had to make a change, so I decided to become a WW member, too. Taylor shared her Invite a Friend link to get me a free first month, and I was on my way.
What types of food changes did you make?
T: I started mapping out what I was going to eat for the week. Meal prepping helped me feel more in control of my food choices.
What Taylor ate then vs. now
|Breakfast||Fast-food breakfast burritos with egg, cheese, potatoes, and bacon or bacon, egg, and cheese on a croissant with a sugary coffee drink||A non-fat Greek yogurt bowl with strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, a sliced banana, peanut butter powder, and dark chocolate chips or a frittata with eggs, broccoli, grilled onions, turkey pepperoni, light mozzarella, and spices; my daily coffee drink is two shots of espresso with a protein shake and a splash of reduced-fat milk.|
|Lunch||Pretzel dogs and French fries, flatbread with Caesar salad, or bar food like mozzarella sticks and buffalo wings||A Greek bowl with chicken, quinoa, tzatziki, cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion or turkey chili|
|Dinner||Three or four slices of cheese pizza, garlic knots, Caesar salad||Homemade pizza using two-ingredient dough topped with marinara sauce, light mozzarella, turkey pepperoni, and veggies|
|Snacks||Chips, ice cream, or cheese quesadillas||Carrots, unsweetened applesauce, string cheese or spreadable cheese, bananas, turkey jerky, and seaweed snacks|
S: At home, I stock my kitchen so I'm less tempted to go out for frozen yogurt and practice the same habits when I travel for work. Before joining WW, when I'd go on work trips, I'd over-order at dinner because I knew my company was picking up the tab. Now, I stop at the grocery store to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables whenever I arrive at a new destination and order fish and vegetables instead of heavier meals like lobster with butter and a fully-loaded baked potato.
What Sofie ate then vs. now
|Breakfast||A cranberry bagel with cream cheese, chocolate donuts, and coffee, a tropical smoothie, or vending machine candy||Scrambled eggs with veggies and light mozzarella wrapped in a tortilla plus coffee with a splash of half-and-half|
|Lunch||Fast-food like grilled cheese and a chocolate milkshake, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and diet soda||Homemade air-fryer salmon and a side that I find in the freezer aisle like a mushroom risotto|
|Dinner||Pizza, Chinese takeout, Thai food, or a large bowl of frozen yogurt with all the toppings||Lightly-breaded air fryer chicken breasts; sautéed shrimp with veggies; homemade pizza with marinara sauce, light mozzarella, turkey sausage, and veggies; or homemade calzones|
|Snacks||Two-layer coconut cake from the local bakery, chocolate candies, and frozen yogurt||String cheese, fruit, unsweetened applesauce, or yogurt with dark chocolate chips|
When did you start getting more active?
T: During my first few months as a WW member, I’d go walking a few times a week, then went to Zumba class three times a week for several months. Over the summer of 2018, I got a free week of cycling classes, and I went six times in seven days. I loved how I felt after each class and wanted to capture that feeling again, so I kept going. When the lights dimmed during class and the music went on, I’d get goosebumps. I loved how I felt on the bike, so I bought a spin studio membership.
S: In the fall of 2018, Taylor convinced me to try a spin class with her. At first I felt stiff on the bike: Surrounded by younger women, I felt out of place. After joining WW, though, I began to feel better right away, which helped me realize my weight and sedentary lifestyle, not my age, were the problem in the first place. I started to move more often, joining Taylor at spin class more regularly. After a few months, I felt more comfortable and more powerful.
T: Now when we spin together, I find myself looking in the mirror during class to spot my mom on the bike behind me—she slays it! I love watching my mom look and feel happy, healthy, and strong.
S: Taylor, you’re going to make my cry!
T: It’s true though—and she even signed us up for an 8K race.
S: A spin class instructor recruited me. I used to run 10 miles at a time without any issues. I thought the race could motivate me—and Taylor—to pick up running again.
T: I was determined to run the entire race, and I did. Crossing the finish line with my mom by my side was an incredible experience.
S: It was challenging to keep up with Taylor the entire time! Being able to complete that race gave me such a rush of adrenaline, and I wanted to keep running.
What are some of your victories on and off the scale?
T: After losing 60 pounds*, I'm about halfway to my goal. But my entire mindset and how I view myself has already changed: Before I joined WW, I was always so negative. For instance, when I went hiking, I'd feel badly when someone passed me. Now I don't care—I just feel good about doing something healthy for myself.
S: I’m down 17 pounds* since I joined in at the beginning of 2019, which is a huge feat for me—and I’m less than 10 pounds from my goal. I have more energy and feel less lazy. I'm more excited about life.
While I haven’t entered the dating scene yet, it's on my agenda. And I know the kind of guy I’m looking for: No couch potato!
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Would you recommend joining WW with your mother or daughter?
S: Based on our experience, yes. Taylor and I have always been close, but being on this journey together has brought us even closer. Before, we used to have lunch dates. Now, we go on sweat dates—we’ll go on a hike or a do a cycle class. Our time together isn’t always about food. Now we have a shared goal.
T: I agree! My mom has always been supportive of my journey but now that she’s a WW member, it’s even easier to stay on track during family meals: On Christmas Eve morning, we typically eat eggs benedict and this past year she made a healthier version of eggs benedict together. It was so thoughtful.
S: It’s the least I could’ve done. I’ve seen Taylor evolve into the beautiful, amazing leader she is today. She’s offered advice, comfort, and inspiration to so many people. She’s vulnerable and shares what’s going on in her life on her Instagram page. It’s beautiful to behold.
T: Mom, now you’re going to make me cry! My mom’s my best friend. Our relationship is one of true, unconditional love. I’m so blessed that we’re on this journey together.
Explore more WW member transformations here.